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Bad corks?

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Elmer

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Bottling a quad wine this morning. Ran into nothing but trouble with the corks. #8 short corks.
I soaked them in warm KMeta water prior to bottling.
However some corks were hard as a rock.
A few got stuck in my corker and took all my might to get in the bottle.
Seems more than half had the top break or shred on the way in, leaving bit and pieces of cork in the corker. This caused cork particles to end up in a few bottles.
I have only had the corks for a month or so, they have been stored in a plastic bag in the basement!
ImageUploadedByWine Making1482085249.117095.jpgImageUploadedByWine Making1482085283.551812.jpgImageUploadedByWine Making1482085294.676139.jpg my corker
ImageUploadedByWine Making1482085312.300447.jpgImageUploadedByWine Making1482085330.192335.jpg
Should I go by some new corks and re-cork all 26 bottles?ImageUploadedByWine Making1482089922.886681.jpg
 
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Julie

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Well I am not going to say you have bad corks. I am thinking your corks are breaking down because you are soaking them!
 

bkisel

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What a shame. Got to be very frustrating.

Do you have any left that you haven't soaked? If so give them a try and see if it makes a difference.

I've only used #9 corks. Are #8s thicker than #9s?
 

StBlGT

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Yes. I would re-cork all of the bottles.
 

Elmer

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Well I am not going to say you have bad corks. I am thinking your corks are breaking down because you are soaking them!
I don't think dropping these corks in some warm kmeta water broke then down.
When I went back and checked some (approx 3/4h are rock hard and have no give to them.
These are the ones that were not pliable and were breaking in the capper.
They are super dried out, hard and brittle

What a shame. Got to be very frustrating.

Do you have any left that you haven't soaked? If so give them a try and see if it makes a difference.

I've only used #9 corks. Are #8s thicker than #9s?
I have no corks let. I was Able to get all 26 bottles corked.
Tomorrow I have to leave work a bit early to by new corks before I grab my monsters from school and go to a holiday party.
Sometime late at night I will be re-corking these things so I can hand out during the week or weekend as gifts.

Every time I buy stuff from this one LBHS I run tiki trouble
 

Elmer

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And with that statement you have your answer. Corks should not be like that at all. They should be slightly soft and have some (a little) give when you squeeze them.

Pulled and Replaced all the corks.
These things cracked and snapped like kindlingImageUploadedByWine Making1482204476.631154.jpgnever buying from the LHBS again!
 

Johny99

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Look like they are old and dried out to me. I'd suggest dropping some by the LHBS so they know, and for the sake of their next customer! Frustrating::
 

dralarms

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I buy mine 1000 at a time and keep them soft and fresh in a corkador. 5 gallon bucket with a wine bottle of kmeta in the center with corks poured all around and sealed. I've been using this for a while and never had a stale cork.
 

JohnT

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I agree with dralarms.

My thinking is that the corks got too dry. When you soaked them, only the outside portion was moistened. This could explain why you had a soft outside "skin" while having a rock hard core (T-shirt).
 

drainsurgeon

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Elmer, there is no question you got a bad batch of corks. I would be returning all the bits and pieces to the wine shop where you purchased them. I'm sure they will be willing to replace them and hopefully give you a big apology. If not, there are many on line stores to get your supplies from. My local wine shop has been very helpful when I have a problem like this. I use #9 corks as I feel they seal a bit better. I make sure and keep the bag sealed when not bottling and I do not soak my corks either. That has been discussed here many times and if you run a search you will find much reading and varying opinions. I've used corks that were a year or two old and never had a problem with them drying out or coming apart like you've shown here. I would like to know how old these corks really were. I know you just got them a month ago but I've got a feeling these have been laying around for a while. Also, a floor corker is worth its weight in gold! Try one and you'll never go back!
 

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